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Internal Audit and IT Project Teams

Teams where lineage is an important part of their job are overwhelmed.

The Internal Audit profession has progressed far beyond Arthur Michael’s 1911 illustration of Bob Cratchit at his desk.

Audit teams are more tied into data, data flows, and transaction processes as businesses have become more computerized over the past decades. Their tools have not caught up with the complexity of today’s systems; also, mergers and acquisitions have multiplied the number of systems and the number of steps from the shop floor to the controller’s office.

The Internal Audit CBOK 2015 presentation Benchmarking Internal Audit Maturity includes the following recommendations:

  • Promote discussions across lines of business to build a holistic view of the organization.
  • Make sure the risk assessment is as holistic as possible to avoid black spots.
  • Build sufficient knowledge and understanding of the business to avoid “unknown unknowns.”
  • Use technology across the entire audit process to increase efficiency and effectiveness, and obtain broader risk assessment coverage, including data mining and analysis tools.
  • Build in elements of continuous or real-time auditing to increase efficiency and effectiveness to the extent that the control and IT environments allow.

IT Project Planners, Project Managers, Enterprise Architects, Business Architects, Data Architects, and software programmers have very similar needs for lineage to design, manage, test, document, deploy, and support IT projects. Even minor projects need lineage so that planners and practitioners avoid negative impacts on the data used by corporate systems outside of the project. Lineage provides a common view that bridges people across geographic or divisional separation—in other words, lineage “breaks down silos.”

Business professionals and auditors experience similar distance from base transactions. Both can use lineage as a straightforward, accessible, technology-agnostic tool to view evolving data stores and paths that affect or influence data stores or reports. As a Chief Auditor states, “Governance improvement is an exercise of helping all areas of the enterprise including corporate departments, divisions, business units, and employees in the next cubicle work together to maintain and leverage a key asset that is the lifeblood of every enterprise: critical information. Information maps—data lineage—are built locally and utilized globally to improve governance by increasing performance, assurance, and strengthening the audit process.”

ROI savings for this ongoing program:

  • Hard-money ROI: Avoid added consulting that duplicates previous analyses and change management. Avoid software specialists to diagnose calculation problems that are not technological
  • Soft-money ROI: Auditors can use lineage to trace transaction calculations across multiple disparate systems with less IT support. Lineage change deltas can be used to evaluate where calculations have been added or changed since the last review—even to the field level—in seconds. Decreased time to ramp-up on new systems, even for existing Subject Matter Experts from other areas.

Contact us for help in designing an Internal Audit Support or IT/Business Project Support lineage proposal!